Sendie-Lou wrote a blog after reading an article about a 3-year-old girl who survived on leftover food for 2 days after her mom died. Sendie thought about what would happen if she and her spouse suddenly died . What would happen to her children? She lives far away from family, so who would notice if they’re gone?
Sendie is not alone. I, too, have worried about what would happen to my children if Dear Spouse and I unexpectedly kicked the bucket.
Before I had children, I had already came to terms with death. I try living life happy and to the fullest so that when I die, I wouldn’t have any regrets. Death doesn’t scare me. Once I’m dead, I will be gone. Emotionless, empty, nothing. A memory for loved ones to cherish and also just another fragment of energy ready to be converted. Or if there is a spirit world, I will be continuing my journey to my next destination. No worries.
And then all that changed when I had children. Although I’m still not afraid of death or dying, now I’m not ready to go. Not yet, anyway. Not until I know that my children will not suffer without me.
I don’t want to leave my children at such a young age. What would happen to them if both my spouse and I died? I think about who would care for them and if that person would love them as much as I do. Will they love them unconditionally? It’s easier said than done, especially when it’s not your child.
I think about what Mermaid would do if I died? Would he remarry? If he does, will his new wife love my children? (Fairy tales have definitely distorted our perceptions of step-mothers). If he doesn’t remarry, will he be able to care for them while working full time to support them? How will my children grow up without my love—a mother’s love? Mermaid is a wonderful father. He loves our children and tries his best, I know. But he lacks nurture—which is, in my opinion, one of the main components to raising a healthy child.
Then I think about everything that I would miss if I was gone. My children’s birthdays, first dates, first kisses, puberty, high school, parenting them through adolescence, being there to encourage and support them, their weddings, my grand kids. The list just goes on and on.
It is every loving mother’s nightmare to suddenly leave her children behind. It is a scary thought. Sometimes, I try to reassure myself: there will be people to love my children. And even if they don’t love my children the way I do or want them to, they will do their best. And then, doubt starts to set in and I’m scared all over again.
Death is not a scary thing if you know you won’t be leaving anyone behind who aren’t able to fend for themselves. But when you think about death as a parent of a very young child, it is horrifying. And maybe that’s the reason why so many people are afraid of death.